tv The Dylan Ratigan Show MSNBC February 9, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
to get the 30 million jobs we need, which is why we brought this tour to the texas state capitol for february 9th, 2012. good afternoon to you. nice to see you once again from texas. i am dylan ratigan. we are live this afternoon outside the texas state capitol here in austin. and once again, we find ourselves playing the match game. and today that means trying to match policies with politicians that will give america the debate we deserve on everything from investment that's necessary for job creation to energy independence which can create those jobs to housing reform and solutions that can release the people and the capital to get it done. we begin with a big development in housing today. a $25 billion mortgage
settlement. >> that's your stake, your claim on the american dream. and the person that signed the document couldn't take enough time to even make sure that the foreclosure -- that we refused to let them go unanswered. >> it fits into while we're in texas. the mortgage deal that was announced by the obama administration sadly nothing more than a plolitical solution to a massive mathematical problem that we all face in our housing market. $25 billion, less than one tenth of 1% of an uninvestigated $13 trillion housing mess in which the banks took their assets and transferred them to our government. and have not been investigated for it at the federal reserve. the political news of the day being dominated in washington, d.c., by the annual cpac
gathering, the political action convention showing once again how the conversation in this country persists as an us versus them. here's a taste. i would rather listen to control that substitutes its will for the will of the american people. >> an us versus them attitude is obviously not how we're going to achieve anything in this country. we need to drop the red versus blue identity. it's a false identity. we need to reline our system that measures and responds to the interests and intentions of the electorate. these are not california issues or new york or nebraska issues. we do not have red or blue
issues. we have american issues around job creation and investment and a culture of auctioning off our government to the highest bidder. united we will stand and divided we will fall in our search to get america the debate it deserves to resolve these issues and create the 30 million jobs that we need and that can help us solve our problems. first up, two men who are working to try to make our electoral system better represent us. joining us here in the lone star state, mark mckinnen. you can catch his writings on the daily beast. also elliot ackerman. they are working to create an alternative platform for an alternative candidate on the national ballot this year. it's a pleasure to see both of you. >> thank you. keeping it weird. >> is that the slogan? >> yeah. >> i'm interested to get a
sense -- first, they don't have any association wsh. >> they are working to change things within the system. but both have as a goal to change the system that we've got because it's not working. >> when you say change the system that we've got, what do you, mark, and then i want to hear the same question to you. what is the root cause of the dysfunction? >> money drives the bipartisan. we have voices on the right and left that do not represent a majority of this country, and because of citizens united and a lot of other factors have huge amounts of money, which gives them microphones to dominate the political system, pull the system and our elected officials hostage because of the money. we saw no labels. you get outside of washington and people say where's our voice? why aren't we being represented?
we wanted to provide a voice. we just announced a 12-step reform program for congress. one of the main features is no budget, no pay. if congress doesn't pass a budget, they don't get paid. >> elliot, first of all, are you comfortable with his characterization? >> absolutely. we have similarly-inspired efforts. the problems we see is we have two minority parties in this country. the most of the americans are independent and they are shut out of a closed process. so we're offering every registered voter in this country. the opportunity to participate in a nominating process to put an independent ticket on the ballot in all 50 states. >> there seems to be an underlying issue, which is that power in this country is currently exchanged by making your opponent look worse than you. that the mechanism of accumulating power is not by persuading people or debating around how my plan or your plan
might create a more rational and equal set of rules. a creation of this culture. i'll start with elliot and come back to mark. how do you do this in a way -- when the way you accumulate power is by making the other worse, how do you get vovld in the conversation and not play the same game? >> we have a political system that's rigged. all the ideas have to be funneled into two separate and narrow ideologies. that doesn't leave enough room to emerge. what we're doing is opening the process up by having a spot on the ballot for an independent. >> it's still a process by not being rejected. there's no against line on the ballot. i can't reject bad candidates. i have to take the least-worst candidate.
there's a cartoon circulating around barack obama basically saying, i guess the plan is to make the republicans so scary i have to reelect barack obama. that's the perpetuating power mechanism. that seems to be the most frustrating. >> democracy should be about a lot of choices, which is exactly what americans would like. it's a lesser of two evils. because of the money, they are dominating the process. mitt romney just spent ten times as much money as in the last election in florida. 99% of it was negative advertising. . that's why people are so frustrated. >> people want that. but if you're running for office, you're guaranteed to accumulate power much more rapidly by saying anything useful.
>> given the system we've got, unless we change the system. the american people want a change. they just haven't had an option to change it. these are blossoming out of democracy. they want a different option. >> to that end, and we talk a lot about how life is an experiment. you guys are conducting experiments in reform. we have ideas to try to pursue this. for americans elect and the context of austin, i know you are a south by southwest finalist as a compliment to your use of technology and social entrepreneurship for your reforms. what could we, from your group in terms of how you are engaging, what have you done that have made you this nominee? and what can we learn from you as we conduct our own experiments or try to help understand? >> we're taking innovation and
leveraging that against ballot access. we have an idea in this country of representative government. that's the very foundation of this. what we're doing is leveraging our newest technologies to get us back to some of our oldest values. what we take heart in is nearly half a million americans have signed up to participate through americans elect. these are people who don't want to quit. these are people who reject the idea that it has to be a by nar choice in 2012. flr people who want to see an independent candidate emerge. >> all right. it's a pleasure. you're inspiring for a lot of folks. i compliment both of you for not only conceiving these things, but for having the audacity to actually go out and do it 37 it's nice to see both of you. >> we're going to keep kicking in the shins. >> mark mckinnen and elliot
ackerman. coming up here on the show, on the 30 million jobs tour, evidence today of the us and them politics that has taken over our country and is preventing us from getting the debate america deserves. you know it's bad when politicians are comparing themselves to super bowl head coaches. we have a mega mega panel here in austin. we are in texas after all. and could the occupy movement and the tea party have more in common at their root than the media would have you think? or maybe even they might think? we have founding members of each. you dot not want to miss that conversation later here in texas. that say the capitol building is a symbol of the legendary spirit of texas. get ready for a spirited show. you're watching 30 million jobs tour on msnbc live from austin.
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teams have different goals. we don't have shared goals with the democrats, folks. >> america 2012. if any of us needed further proof of the us versus them mentality in washington, d.c., they played political football to use senator demint's metaphor, and we pay the price. whether it's the absurd mortgage settlement the president put forth today or the rhetoric from both parties. the truth of the matter is, it will only be a united america that will be able to achieve the level of reform and investment necessary to generate the 30 million jobs that we need, let alone have the debate america deserves. that is why we're on this tour. and that's why susan del percent owe and karen finney and jimmy williams joins us. have they started calling it the
belly of the beast? >> not yet. but i'm going to tell those guys. >> tell them ratigan says you have to change the name. >> you guys. >> obviously, if we do not find some basic set of principles to work as a group of people to drive investment in this country and drive lelectoral reform to measure the electoral districts, we will not be able to reform our tax code and our trade policies, banking systems, reform anything. how is it that these politicians, whether it's the obama administration or the demint rhetoric which is the manipulation of brains of some people, i guess. how far are they from us? >> very far. i mean, they actually live in
the belly of the beast and in an absurd reality. the fact an elected official is saying we're not going to do anything for ten months is crazy. people can't get elected doing that. so obviously he's not up for reelection this time. on the same side, you have the senate not passing a budget for 1,100 days because they don't want to propose something. it's on both sides and it's horrible. >> if you look at it, jimmy, and we are seeing a tremendous response to the tea party going back. we're going to talk to mark meckler. i can point all over the place. look at the response to this show now. i mean, anything that's in this vein is getting a tremendous response from the people. how much louder do the people have to become in rejecting this culture that is in d.c. of playing political football where republicans and democrats basically use the american
people as a pawn for their exchange of power? >> i think we'll see in november how loud the american people want to be. most americans are remarkably pissed off. they don't like either side of the aisle. i'm not talking about the crazies on the left or right. they think they have all lost their mind. what jim demint did was he didn't have the balls to go on the senate floor and say that. he had to give the red meat to the crazies. really? now if you really think that's that important, have the courage and the gumption to walk on the senate floor and say that and see how well you're treated. not only by democrats, but your own party. in november, we'll see just how pissed off everyone is. >> karen, you've been hammering this for months. you are seeing it point-blank in the republican primaries. the primary response, forgive the pun, is total voter
disengagement. the number of people participating continues to decline, which is an understandable response. it is remarkably danger because it puts power in a smaller group of peoples' hands. how would you convince somebody that believes what we believe and understand what we understand about money and politics and gerrymandering and all the false solutions that are paraded by both political parties that are responding with i'm going to disengage because this whole thing is a she raid which gives the hucksters more power and not less. that's a dangerous path, obviously. >> that's right. but i think we have to go another level. maybe we'll call it the meta level. it's not the kinds of comments like jim demint said. it was the birther controversy. it's all of this otherness that goes on. it's the us versus them, as you
talked about. when we talk about the immigration debate and energy debate. everything is trivialized into it's either this or that. it's the false choice of it's either this or that rather than people need to stand up and say, no, it's not. we want better options. that's what you're talking about when we talk about elections. but we also have to be pushing that more in our policy discussions. this is something i said about the president. what he's tried to do, and in this environment, that's all you can do is to have incremental steps. in this environment, i don't think it's possible to have the big changes we need. think about what bill bratton was talking about with collaboration. you can't collaborate with people like jim demint who says we have nothing in common. how is it possible that we don't have a shared goal of getting people jobs? how can that not be a shared goal. but i think the bottom line is
people have to be the ones to push to make it happen. we have to say to our candidates, i wish that in south carolina, for example, people hadn't heated the dog whistle of newt gingrich and instead said, wait a minute. i want to talk about jobs. i want to talk about health care. >> but the problem with that is as you shrink the voters, it's easier to do the manipulation as you have more voters in the pool. the tolerance for the cheap manipulation of either political party becomes much less powerful. speaking of manipulation, to a development today in the fraud closure crisis. state attorney generals have signed on to a brain manipulation. that's what the federal government is offering.
anybody? no? call me after the show if you want to sell your house. no further civil action allowed on robo sign iing. it sounds like the banks are the ones breathing a sigh of relief on this one. remember, this settlement is a $25 billion band-aid that perpetuates the failure to investigate the problem, which is $13.5 trillion of mortgage debt that we are all collectively baring the responsibility for because our politicians took that risk, took that money away from our banks in 2008 and stuck it in the federal reserve and at fannie mae and freddie mac. bo biden, who has expressed the most serious reservations about any deal, tells us that he reluctantly signed this one, but did release to us the following statement.
"the settlement is not perfect, but i signed on to its terms because we can continue our investigations while providing some real relief to delawarens and important new protections to the men and women who serve in our nations armed services." at the very least, the government doesn't seem to have completely given up full safe harbor for further investigations for the banks on the mers prosecution that bo biden is pursuing. if eric holder or any attorney general wanted to investigate the actual problem, which is the fraudulent transferring of securities to fannie mae and freddie mac, no one wants to do that, but if they wanted to, they could. >> the chance of them actually doing the investigation, which everyone said this is why i'm in a difficult place, probably won't happen. i suggest they took a look at eliot spitzer's appearance on
your show when he was asked, do you regret just going after the fines instead of prosecuting more fully. he said, yes. >> why is that a meanful statement for you? >> we need to prosecute people. we need to have people held accountable. this is just a next time it's $50 billion. but it's not solving any problems. >> how can you pay things off that you have never investigated? and why would you not investigate a known? we have done the dipstick test. do these mortgage bonds comply with the representations and warrantees necessary to comply to in order to transfer that to the government? we know that they don't comply. we refuse to investigate it. yet we're paying out money for something we have never invested. >> it's basically america's housing market needs open heart surgery. we need to save the patient.
but we just gave the patient a baby aspirin. this is embarrassing. frankly, if my attorney general in virginia were up for reelection this fall, i would vote against him. but instead, he's over at cpac giving a speech right now. >> this is a good political tutorial, karen. you see the leverage the federal government has to go into a state and say, listen. either do what we want because it's politically where we are at right now, whatever that thing may be, or we will deprive you of tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars in the short-term in an election year. i cannot think of something that's more fundamentally repugnant to an american than watching this level of manipulation. am i overdoing this? >> no. i think you're right. that's why this announcement has
been met with people saying, okay, it's a drop in the bucket. but the bucket is huge. the one thing i will go back to though is on the positive, i think a lot of really great groups have been doing amazing work keeping the pressure on, and that has to be the message going forward. i'm more optimistic that we can get more out of the investigation, but we have to be the ones to keep the pressure on. >> so the more we're demanding, the actual investigation into the the transference, the more li likely it is to happen. you think there's enough groups applying that pressure? >> i do. i give a lot of these groups the credit. i think that's how we got to this point. the deal has been in the workings for quite some time. there was a lot of pressure applied. i think the white house felt a lot of pressure to say we have to do something. we have to be the ones to say, this is not acceptable. this is a drop in the bucket.
but it's not zepable you maintain your ability to do more. we want more. >> but remember the $2,000 check they got. >> which is why, by the way, i'm buying any house in america for $2,000, which is the exact same terms you're getting from the federal government. all liabilities for your home will be transferred to the federal government. i will give you $2,000. you will send me the keys to your house. who doesn't want to do that deal? no? all right. nothing? next, you heard it when the game is rigged, we all lose. we're connecting the dots on the unholy alliance crippling our political system after this. i was in shock. my heart attack happened completely out of the blue... i was so young...and... yeah... ...you just don't think that that's something that can happen to you. you really realize what's important. i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen.
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united we stand and divided we fall in the march to create 30 million jobs in america. cross our country, there's an unholy alliance between the people we elect into office and the greedy bastards gaming the system for their advantage. it's one reason we need true electoral reform from the ground up. you ever wonder where your votes actually go? it starts at the state level where gerrymandering is king and districts are being drawn by politicians who draw the lines around their own voters. here in texas, the politicians are still work on their district maps for this november. the courts threw out their first attempt at redistricting. many states hold closed primaries, which means only party members can vote. texas holds open primaries on april 3rd, but florida with the first big chunk of delegates, held closed primaries last week. have you ever seen an against line on the ballot?
to reject the candidates you don't like? i didn't think so. we're left all too often to vote for the lesser of two evils and then comes washington's revolving door. it gives special interests the power to influence what laws are written. it chokes off debate on the issues that are not bought and paid for. election cycles are media gold. millions already spent on ads so far in the republican primaries and $7 billion expected before voters head e to the polls november 6th. and this money to the politicians comes from all those private interests that we hear about. for that one, there's one way to fix it. to get money out with the 28th constitutional amendment. but beyond that, we must begin to reform our electoral system immediately so it's a more accurate measure of intentions. add an against line to the ballot. reform districts and we must demand visibility from elected leaders starting with super pac transparency legislation in
2012. use the values of visibility, integrity, and choice to expose the misaligned interests that are crippling washington and our country. these are the ways we together embrace this unholy alliance. >> this and all the connect the dots are laid out in great detail in our book "greedy bastards." now four weeks on "the new york times" best sellers list. thanks to everyone who has seized upon this conversation. we thank you for trusting us to engage on this level. we're delighted for what is to come. if you're in the austin area tomorrow, join us tomorrow at book people. it's the independent book seller here in austin. we'll be answering questions and signing books and listening and debating about how it is on a local level we can reform to end so much of the rigging we discuss. straight ahead here though, occupy and the tea party. we're told they couldn't be more
different and in many ways they couldn't. but is there actually some common ground these powerful movements share? the founding members of each group, or some founding members from some of the groups, with us in the moments to come. we're live from texas sparking the debate america deserves in order to get the investment we need create the 30 million jobs that are necessary. ♪ all right ♪ yeah ♪ ♪ can you feel it out there?
[ baby crying ] ♪ what started as a whisper ♪ every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. ♪ slowly turned to a scream ♪ there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? ♪ amen, omen we talk a lot on this show about misaligned interests and how they are keeping us from dealing with the real issues whether it's investors and entrepreneurs or doctors and teachers. there's a belief in this country that the tea party and occupy movement have opposing goals. but there may be a basic underlying belief that both groups, along with every other group in america, shares.
that we as americans should not tolerate two sets of rules in this country that are sold off for money, tax favors, subsidy favors, all the things that happen in washington, d.c., one set of rules for those purchasing them in washington as a business and another set for those who either can't purchase those rules or don't know how. the institutionalization of two sets of rules as our base government system affects our tax code, our subsidies, the nature of our health care system, our educational system, the development of our careers, the culture of investment, the list goes on. it is that most basic unfairness, which unites not only groups like tea partiers and occupiers, but the millions of americans that are currently responding in their own way to the realizization and the need to address this problem.
joining us now is mark meckler. he's one of the founders of the tea party patriots. the title says it all. you're a man, mark, who appears to be a civilized and reasonable man. this is because people are not familiar with your history of carrying around a moe hawk in college. they will believe you're a true radical. >> it's true. i have to admit. >> so give me -- do you agree with what i just said. >> i do agree. there are two sets of rules. i think most americans are starting to understand that. you talked a lot about us versus them on the show. i think there is an us versus them. it's the citizens versus the ruling. that's the real fight. >> what is that fight? >> at the base level, at the government level, it's people in office. incumbents tied to big business
interests, primarily corporations that buy influencing government. it's this con influence of big governments or big yunion as well. >> what is the commonality? that's not a tea party point of view. that's an american point of view. >> that is fair. the tea party has helped to create this discussion in america. that's the greatest success of the tea party. certainly, people were elected, but more importantly, the debate has changed and these issues are now being discussed. >> there's an interesting namic when you look at the media portrayals and the most uninformed and popular liezed portrayals, which suggest a movement like the occupation, which is crazy protesters in the park beating drums, getting arrested, could not have anything in common with the tea party, which is very-well
organized, very specific political apparatus it's been able to build. when i personally go around and talk to people that self-identify as tea partiers and/or occupiers, they tell me the same thing, which is we have two sets of rules. how do we get past the issues of mark meckler with a moe hawk versus mark meckler as an upstanding attorney from california. same guy, different identity. it seems we're lost in identity. >> the politicians like it that way. they want us to fight. they want republican versus democrat. pro-life versus pro-choice. they profit from that fight. our job is to strip away that fight, to find the commonality, and take back our government. it's about devolving power back to the people. >> technology makes possible on a level we have never seen
before. >> you see it in the occupy movement. it's the networking of democracy. >> you see it with the learning of the hot spotting in hospitals and schools. all these communities that are not waiting for a government plan for health care. you have dr. brenner in new jersey reforming the way they do health care. you have a very specific idea, though, a task you're devoting yourself to in this election season to get to what you see as the root, which is total lack of fear on the part of incumbent politicians that they will lose their job if they continue to betray the american people. fair? >> that's very fair. incumbents are stuck there. the system is stacked against the challenger. only four members of the house of representatives lost their seat in the primaries in 2010. that's extraordinary. >> that was supposed to be the wave election. >> basically, there's a campaign out there, it's something i'm
supporting called campaign for primary responsibility. it's to shake up the power structure. it's to remove people who no longer represent their constituents but are still in office today. >> why, and i totally agree with this, but why is it so important? it seems like it depowers. you can fight money in politics, but it seems the power in politics would diminish if the incumbent politicians were fearful they would lose their job if they were beholden to moneyed interest. >> that's what we're try to do is reinstall fear. there's a great race in ohio. you have marci capner. just redistricted. these guys are together now fighting it out. you have the guy, who i might
not agree politically with denn dennis kucinich. but he fights for what he believes. >> because you feel that the seat is basically a seat bekwoeted by the royalty. where dennis kucinich at least is a man of integrity. you have one other story. >> the same thing we have dan burton in indiana and the campaign for accountability participated there. found out he had a low approval rating. did the polling. put out the polling. i'm happy to say that it burton has now announced his retirement. >> it's a pleasure to have you here. i look forward to learning more. mark meckler, "across the fence." we all know the tea party and we heard one tea party point of view. how does one of the founders of
the occupy movement feel about what we discussed? find out after this. remember. united we stand and divided we fall in the search to get america the debate it desperately deserves in a march to create 30 million jobs in this country. ♪ he was a 21st century global nomad ♪ ♪ home was an airport lounge and an ipad ♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had ♪ downloaded it in the himalayas ♪ ♪ while meditating like a true playa ♪
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about our most basic urge to resist any system that enforces two sets of rules, let alone two sets of rules sold off in secret at auction. at least that one respect we believe the tea party movement has things in common with america, but also things in common with people in the occupation. joining us now is david degraw. one of the founding members for the 99% movement, which was a predecessor effort before occupy became an occupation. you can find him as the editor online. and you can read his book, "the economic elite versus the people of the united states." mark meckler was just here and ba basically his characterization
was exactly the title of your book. >> right. you know, for years, when you had your mad as hell moment on tv, that resinated with me. the past three years, i have been gone trying to find common ground. when the 99% movement was trying to find common ground across the political spectrum, when occupy wall street took you have, you had liberty park and all these people with different opinions coming to the park and engaging in key political discourse. what we saw over sand over agai is that people came with a certain amount of group things they had embedded. but when we mixed it up with each other, we found common ground. and often place we found common ground was with decentralized power. as mark was saying, tea partiers look at big government. occupy wall street looks at big
corporations and wall street. it's the conclusion of the two, the concentration of power to the point now where we have 400 people in this country that have as much wealth as half the population. you have a concentration of power. we're trying to break that and decentralize the power. >> and walk us through that. mark was talking about that is the common interest, i would say, certainly that i see when i interview tea partiers and occupiers. really self-identified americans. it's unfair to everybody else in america who doesn't consider themselves an occupier or a tea partier who shares all these values, by the way. they are not going to identify with any political movement for any number of reasons. how do movements like yours -- or i shouldn't say like yours. how do movements like any of
these movements, you as an advocate for a couple of them, how did we open those movements up to be more inclusive so it becomes 99%. 100% of the people saying one set of rules for austin, texas. one for birmingham, alabama. one set of rules for chicago. the end game is e ending the two sets of rules system. >> it's a system of political bribery, campaign finance lobbying, the revolving door. i was speaking to a group of fifth graders. they were telling me that money is not speech. they were telling me that corporations are not people. this is common sense. anyone with half a political clue know we have a rigged system. so we have to stop this system of political bribery. that's why i refer to the wall street mafia. or the federal government mafia. it's concentration of power. we have to focus on, in my opinion, getting money out of
politics through a constitutional amendment, which you've been working on. this is a common-ground thing. 100% of the people see the system is broken. >> the interesting thing, because wealth and power has been coordinating with the government to screw over the people for as long as there has been wealth, power, and people. it's not like we discovered something here. this is always been how it is. the only thing that's different now in the crusade for more community-based power is that technology seems to be in place to allow to happen. talk about that. >> it's the decentralized power. it gives citizens a way to communicate where they don't havecorporations. they can communicate through the internet. people understand this is a crowd-sourcing situation. where you get these hot spots and ideas, it's kind of a survival of the fittest of
ideas. if you have a powerful idea and you can do things in a constructive way and fix things, people will gravitate towards that. so this is what's happening. this is the evolution of our society right now. >> which goes to david kennedy and the people we talk about. you said something interesting to me one time. a conversation over the past p couple of months, where you said if you go into a room of decentralized power, whether it's an occupy, and tell them what to do, they will try to eat you. if you go into any room and engage with an idea to fix a problem that resinates with those people, they will follow. explain why that's such a critical distinction and how does that apply to the way we make decisions with one another? >> no one wants to be told what to do. you have the top-down old way of doing things. but you basically put forward ideas and say here's the
problem. look at the occupations across the country. you have the gas where you have all different opinions. they fight is it out. after awhile, they reach consensus. people can figure it out. people have common sense. if you give them a problem and say work together to solve this, they will figure it out. and this is what this movement is all about. decentralized, crowd-sourcing ideas, working together, finding common ground. >> i love it it. i appreciate what you're doing. i appreciate what mark is doing. i ultimately think there's only one group, which is the 100%. >> exact ly. we're all on the ship together. >> nice to see you. >> thank you. >> check out david's book "the economic elite versus the people of the united states." this state has overcome many differences. tomorrow as goes texas, so goes the country. take a gander at the top of this
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